Southern Alberta Newspapers
Hundreds have gathered in Lethbridge to attend the 18th annual International Peace Powwow and Festival.
Dancers, drummers, artists and spectators flooded the Enmax Centre Saturday and will be at it again today.
“The Blackfoot Canadian Cultural Society has a commitment to promoting Blackfoot identity, pride and inspiration and the International Peace Powwow is our greatest project that does exactly that,” said event organizer Mary Ann Crow Healey.
There were two Grand Entry events Saturday, which showcased all the dancers and drummers participating in the competitions as well as the contestants for both the Junior Miss Blackfoot Canada and Miss Blackfoot Canada pageant.
“It’s a beautiful sight to see,” said Fee McLean, production and vendor co-ordinator. “We have people coming from the United States, Manitoba, B.C. Ð all over the place.”
“The powwow itself, is empowering for all the dancers, all the people who are here,” said Crow Healey. “Art has a way of touching the soul Ð the heart. This is spontaneous art; when you have the music, the dancer and the watcher, everything comes together. It’s magical.”
She said she’s heard from others that participating in a powwow is the closest to the divine that a person can get and the spectators are part of the synergy.
There are approximately 25 categories of competition from Tiny Tots up to Golden Age and Crow Healey believes today is when the dancers will be at their best.